Some Simple DIY Maintenance Tips for your Residential HVAC System
This past year has brought its share of uncertainties impacting many elements of our day-to-day lives. Because of this, there seems to be an upward trend in people searching for things you can do from home and general self-reliance topics. So, with 2021 safely behind us, we would like to share some straightforward DIY maintenance tips to help keep your heating and cooling system functioning as it should. And although you always want a professional to assess any serious issues, there are a handful of very practical things you can do throughout the year in order to help facilitate this.
Keep Any HVAC Equipment Free of Area-Debris Buildup
Because the nights in our area are still flat-out cold, you’re likely running your heater in the later hours and thus not paying attention to your outside air conditioning unit. This of course makes sense due to its unuse at this time of year. However, it is still important to keep your outside AC unit and associated plumbing/piping free of excess debris. This time of year sees far less people doing things like yard work, etc. so it’s easy to let things like wind-blown trash, remnants of leaves and other debris pile up near or behind your AC unit. We recommend at least once per season checking on your outdoor equipment and clearing it out. This will not only make your spring season cleaning that much easier, but rodents and pests like to make homes in these kinds of debris buildup which can have lasting damage if left unattended.
This same general mentality goes for your furnace as well. If you have a furnace in an attic, it may be more inconvenient to access, however that too is worth keeping an eye on and keeping free of things like insulation build up and checking for signs of rodents and pests. This is especially true for an attic unit since unless you’re using your attic for storage, you have to make a deliberate trip up there to check on it but it’s worth your time to sweep up any loose insulation you find or other debris.
Replacing your Filters
This one is a critical step and in the vast majority of cases, can be done by a homeowner with ease. Changing your intake air filter is going to result in better system airflow which in turn keeps your HVAC system working more efficiently and adds to the overall longevity of your system as well. Because this step is so important, we have many different filters and filter sizes that can be ordered directly on our website which can be found here: https://bobsairrepair.com/shop/#/products
You may not think a dirty filter can make that much of a difference; however, a dirty filer can cause your AC unit to overwork and frost up to the point of not working at all, or creating an air flow suction issue that causes bits of loose insulation to be pulled into your ducting and vents. Keep those filters changed!
Clean Your Heating and Cooling Vents
It’s very easy to put out of mind your less-accessible floor vents or your more difficult to reach ceiling vents. After all, if your HVAC system is working well, you shouldn’t really notice it.
For your ceiling vents, there are vacuum attachments specifically made for cleaning vents that are longer or telescopic which prevent you from having to get on anything other than a simple step stool to reach. And if you don’t have a vacuum wand accessory, a simple damp cloth run with care along the slats will work too!
As for floor vents, they can collect dust, pet dander and if you have young kids, well then they can collect pretty much… anything – including cheerios, small toys, etc. If your floor vents are oily or grimy to the touch, then it may be worth temporarily removing them for a better cleaning as most vents are held in place either via pressure fit or one to two simple screws. If the vent doesn’t easily come off, then you don’t want to force it but most of the time they will lift right up. At that point, if you have angled ducting below the vents, you may be able to vacuum that first part of the ducting where the vent connects and remove any debris you find there as well. This simple step can go a long way in keeping your system running clean between your regular duct cleanings and can prevent an initial burst of dusty buildup when your forced air kicks in.
These are just some simple steps that you as a homeowner can take in order to help keep your HVAC system going year-round. For any major issues or repairs, we of course always recommend calling a licensed professional to help. At Bob’s Air Repair, we take HVAC seriously, and are here to help!